British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Julius Caesar (1986): Young Vic Theatre
PrJulius Caesar (1986)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Andrew Baker (Octavius Caesar); Helen Blatch (Calphurnia); Peter Ellis (Julius Caesar); Frank Grimes (Mark Antony); Kika Markham (Portia); Matthew Marsh (Cassius); Corin Redgrave (Brutus).
This production ran from 13 November - 20 December 1986.
"Shakespeare's audience must have experienced a Julius Caesar not wholly dissimilar to this. Action surrounds us and confronts us, spoken from two levels and using four vantage points above the central acting space in Fran Thompson's stark design. And contrary to the usual practice, the Roman orators speak from centre stage upwards to a gallery dotted with their mercurial proletariat. The staging gives unusual scope to the performers who communicate with exceptional clarity amd directness...Corin Redgrave is a sensitive, intelligent Brutus whose wonderful vocal range does justice to the variety and subtlety of his carefully understood emotion....Bedecked in black doublet and hose, the entire cast appear to have thrown in their lot with Cromwell's Puritans, though presumably the allusion is intended for the conspirators alone....All but bare of props, the stage becomes a world of conflict where there is neither right nor wrong, only a cloud of smoke and the tragic clash of reality and idealism." ~ Rosalind Carne, "Julius Caesar", Guardian, 25 November 1986
"The production is sidetracked by the unnecessary and almost uncanny expedient of putting the cast into a kind of Roundhead or Puritan period dress, mostly black and velveteeny with white collars and cuffs. With variations on this gloomy sameness some of the plotters of Caesar's death at times resemble Guy Fawkes conspirators of 40 years earlier." ~ Harold Atkins, "Redgrave commands in strong 'Caesar'", Daily Telegraph, 24 November 1986
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